A freshman State Senator is apologizing for making what some are calling racist remarks to a black State Senator.
The apology was found wanting by the Black Caucus, which is calling for his removal.
The remarks were made Monday in the private, members only, Governor’s Club a block from the Capitol.
Senator Frank Artiles was unhappy with questions asked earlier by Senator Audrey Gibson.
Sen. Perry Thurston was there as well.
“Calling her an $#%@% as well as referring to the Senate President as a #@$%. and also calling the people who elected him as the six ^#@$&,”
At the urging of the Senate President, Artiles apologized personally to Gibson, then publicly on the Senate Floor.
“To Senator Audrey Gibson. I apologize. For the words and the tone I used with you, regretfully, Monday night,” said Artiles.
Gibson kept her back to Artiles as he spoke.
“Originally your are shocked, and then you feel a sick, sick place in your stomach,” said Gibson.
The Senate President, Joe Negron promptly stripped Artiles of his Energy Committee Chairmanship.
“The future of Senator Artilles to me, rests between him and his constituents,” said Negron.
But while the Senate President was done, The Black Caucus voted to file a formal complaint seeking Artiles expulsion from the Senate.
“I don’t believe an apology will heal the wounds,” said Stste Senator Oscar Braynon, “I don’t believe an apology will correct what has happened.”
Artiles says he will not resign.
“Absolutely not. Not only will I not resign, I’m going to file for 2018 and win my election,” said Artiles.
Now the Senate must decide if remarks made in a bar are grounds for removal.
Not since 1961 has a lawmaker been expelled.
Under Senate Rules, once a complaint is filed, the Rules Committee must investigate and make a recommendation to the full Senate.